The League uses its positions to advocate for policies that it believes would best serve the public interest. This section includes the League's positions on the June 7, 2016 ballot measures.
Currently, the California Constitution does not make it clear that the Legislature can suspend its members without pay. Legislators may be suspended, but their salary and benefits continue. This measure would allow, but not require, the Legislature to suspend a member and deem the salary and benefits forfeited.
This issue came to light in 2014 when three state senators--all charged with criminal offenses--were suspended by a resolution of the Senate. But those members continued to receive their salaries--more than $95,000 a year--because it was not clear that the Senate had the authority to suspend their pay.
The incident frustrated lawmakers who wanted to hold their own members accountable, and angered the public, which saw it as another example of how lawmakers are shielded from the consequences of their own actions and play by a different set of rules than everyone else.
Proposition 50 would give the Legislature clear authority to discipline Senators or Assembly Members by suspending them without pay. Lawmakers should be able to hold their own colleagues accountable if they breach the public's trust. This commonsense measure was placed on the ballot with strong bipartisan support.
At the local level, the League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County endorses Measure S, the Library Facilities Bond. Measure S seeks approval from voters to levy a special tax annually for the next 30 years on parcels within the Community Facilities District (which includes northern Santa Cruz County; Watsonville is not included as it has a separate library system). The tax's annual cost to property owners would be $49.50 per unit for residential property and $86 per parcel for agricultural, commercial, and recreational land. The money will be used to fund projects envisioned in the 2013 Library Facilities Master Plan.
For more information about the Master Plan and library needs, see our December 2013 VOTER article Santa Cruz Libraries in the 21st Century. More information is available on the Santa Cruz Public Library's website at http://www.santacruzpl.org or the campaign website at http://www.ourlibrariesourfuture.org
League advocacy begins with members selecting, studying and seeking consensus on issues which are of public concern. When consensus is achieved, the League has a position. The League uses its positions to advocate for policies, legislation and ballot measures which it believes would best serve the public interest and against proposals which are in conflict with those goals.
The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County has positions on local issues in the following areas: